Dear Stage Nagoyaへようこそ~ A Detailed Informational Guide to Dear Stage Nagoya!

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Dear Stage Nagoya Information
Address: 〒456-0002 愛知県名古屋市熱田区金山町1-5-5 JOYSOUND金山店1F
Phone Number: 052-253-8114
Official Website: http://nagoya.dearstage.com/
Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/DEARSTAGE_NGY
Hours: Weekdays- 18:00〜22:50; Saturdays- 17:00~22:50
(Hours may vary depending on the event.)
Last Order: 22:00 for chekis, original cocktails, and food; 22:20 for all other drinks
Credit cards are not accepted. Please be sure to bring cash!


About Dear Stage & Introduction

If you are a fan of idols (which I imagine anyone reading this is), you have probably heard of Akihabara Dear Stage a time or two. But for those who are not familiar, Akihabara Dear Stage is an idol live event space and bar that was originally opened in December of 2007 and is home to big name groups such as Dempagumi.inc, Moso Calibration (2013~2019), and many others. 
The current location is situated in Akihabara in Tokyo, Japan.

Fast forward to April of 2018, Dear Stage opened its second location in Nagoya, Japan!
I was lucky enough to be living in Nagoya at the time of its opening and it quickly became a second home to me! More and more recently, Dear Stage is gaining popularity  outside of Japan. There are already some fantastic informational guides on visiting Akihabara Dear Stage out there, but informational guides on the Nagoya location is non-existent.

That is why I am here! To help provide information for those who may not be too familiar with the Japanese language or are simply a little intimidated by the whole system in place!


Dear Stage Nagoya

So before I get started, depending on when you, the reader, refer to this guide, the information provided is subject to change. I have since come home and the last time I went was August of 2018. So please take note that all the information in this guide is based on my visits throughout 2018! Though, I honestly do not see any of this information changing that drastically over time.

I would also like to say most of this information is useful for your visit to the Akihabara location as well, in terms of menu, typical procedure, and point rewards program.

So as mentioned before, the Nagoya location opened in April of 2018.
It is located on the 1st floor (the ground floor) of the Kanayama Joysound building across from Kanayama station. It is considerably smaller compared to Akihabara Dear Stage, which is equipped with three stories open to customers. Like Akihabara Dear Stage, the Nagoya location has a stage, but it’s separate from the bar/cafe area, and is typically only open during special ticketed events.
But do not let that fool you, Dear Stage Nagoya is a much more intimate experience than Akihabara Dear Stage, in my humble opinion.

The small size works in your favor.
At Akihabara Dear Stage, the tables are a decent ways away from the counter where most of the girls will be at work most of the time. Leaving yourself at the mercy of the Dear Girls to come and visit your table whenever they get the chance.
At Dear Stage Nagoya, there isn’t a bad seat in the house!
The counter is only about five to six feet away from the tables, and those who opt in for a counter seat will have a front row seat to all the action (more on all this later).


How to get to Dear Stage Nagoya

They honestly couldn’t have put DS Nagoya in a better place.
Being located in Kanayama, it is a hub for the Nagoya Subway line, JR lines, and Meitetsu lines. No matter where you are staying in Nagoya and surrounding cities, you should have a pretty easy time finding your way to Kanayama Station.

Once you arrive at Kanayama Station, you will want to head for the South exit/entrance.

Once you exit out of the South exit/entrance you will be be greeted by the Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts to your right, and a giant JOYSOUND building towering above with the iconic eye catching red sign. This is your destination. It’s a bit odd to have DS in a karaoke building, but trust me, this is it.

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Kanayama 2 (1)

Upon entering the building you will see a JOYSOUND red pillar. Take a left there after the pillar and you’ll be greeted with the beautiful DS Nagoya mural. Congratulations! You made it!

entrance


How to get to Dear Stage Nagoya Event Space for Ticketed Events

(CAUTION: There are stairs to the left of the giant DS mural (as shown in the picture above). Do not use these stairs. They lead to the side stage door and should only be used by the artists and staff themselves.)

Enter into the Joysound building, but instead of taking a left to go to DS Nagoya, take a right. If you are coming from the cafe itself, simply walk straight past the Joysound reception counters.

You will come face to face with elevators. These elevators do not take you to where you need to go. Instead, enter the staircase to the right of the elevators and go up one story.
You should be greeted with a person sitting at a table right outside the door to the event space.
Pay for your entry or show them your ticket there (they often use the EMTG E-ticketing app for their events. It’s super easy and convenient to reserve tickets on.), enter and enjoy! If it is a release event, you will be able to make your purchase from either someone working a merchandise booth right when you enter the live stage area, or you will purchase them from the person outside the door you paid entry to get into.

Here is a picture of the space (Couldn’t find any pics online of how it looks now without all the tables and the addition of a stage in front of the projector screen. This pic was taken before it was used for DS events.)

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Source: Kanayama JOYSOUND

I Have Arrived at DS Nagoya. Now what do I do?

Head through the tiny walkway running parallel behind the big mural. There at the entrance will be a podium where the cash register and a member of staff will be standing. If there is a wait, you will write down your name, number in your party, and your seating preference (counter/table/no preference) on a clipboard hanging on the podium. You can wait in the Joysound lobby and a member of staff will call out your name when your seat is ready. If there isn’t a wait, the member of staff will simply ask you how many people are in your party and whether you prefer to sit at a counter seat or a table.

Here are the differences between the two seating options:

Counter:
Here you will have the most opportunities to talk to the Dear Girls on staff that night. When they are not running food to tables or talking to other customers, they will spend most of their time behind the counter. The counter seats also have a perfect view of the TV and are perfect place for rubbing elbows with some of the locals.

The counter seat price is 700 yen for the first hour and 300 yen for each additional thirty minutes.

DS nagoya counter
Source: Dear Stage Nagoya Official Website

 

Table:
Here is best if you are with a group of people or if you are mainly wanting to go just for the experience. On a busy night, sitting at the table may not get you as much interaction time with the Dear Girls as a counter seat would, but you will still get a sufficient amount for the price you pay.

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“What is this? A picture for ants?” Source: Dear Stage Nagoya Official Website

The table seat price is 500 yen for the first hour and 200 yen for each additional thirty minutes.
This amount will be charged to each member of your party.

My recommendation: If you have the choice, I definitely recommend the counter seat. Especially if you know even just a little bit of Japanese. It’s a great experience. I was able to meet so many different people and got to know the Dear Girls much more sitting there, and vice versa. Plus with it only being an additional 200 yen for the first hour, it was well worth it.
As I said before, there isn’t a bad seat in the house, so don’t sweat it if you are unable to sit in your preferential seating!

So once you are seated, a Dear Girl will bring you menus, silverware, and a coaster (This makes a great souvenir! Save it, don’t use it!). You will then be asked if it is your first time there. If it is, they will give you an informational sheet that tells you how to make an account on My Dear★Stage.


What is ‘My Dear★Stage’ ?

My Dear★Stage is essentially Dear Stage’s answer to a digital point card program.
It is used at BOTH the Nagoya and Akihabara location, so it will be beneficial for you to make an account.

There are two different My Dear★Stage point program accounts, the ‘free’ user and the ‘premium paid’ user. What are the difference between the two?

The free user account allows you to add the reward points you get at the end of your visit to your account. However, you will need to have a premium paid account to redeem these points for in-store rewards such as two shot chekis, personal item autographs, and sometimes even an exclusive fan outing with some of the Dear Girls. In addition to the ability to redeem points for rewards, it grants you discounts on your visit and gives you access to exclusive content, priority event ticket sales, and exclusive access to the second floor of Akihabara Dear Stage.

The premium paid account is 540 yen per month and will be automatically deducted from your credit card each month until you decide to cancel. Your account will be reverted back into a free user account and your remaining points will remain untouched.

I know it may seem like a little bit of a pain to make an account, but they highly recommend you make one. It’s free, takes only a minute to make, allows you to rack up points, and it gives the Dear Girls an easier time identifying you (which obviously translates into them providing you with an awesome DS experience).
Seriously! Don’t skip out on it!

If you’re worried about not being able to read Japanese on spot, you can make your account before you visit the store by going to the My Dear★Stage site on your smartphone (site is only accessible on mobile btw).



So you either already had an account or you now have one.
You will present to the Dear Girl your main account page that displays your name, account type, and point balance. She will look it over and write your name on your paper check. This paper check will be how the girls keep track of what you order for later totaling.
On that same paper check they will write a time. This time marks an hour from the minute you were helped. You do not have to leave at this particular time, but this is the amount of time that covers your initial one hour fee you will be charged. Anything above this (even if it’s only a minute later) you will be charged accordingly for. So be sure to stay mindful of your time if you’re trying to be as cheap as possible.

I personally think it’s worth paying the additional 200-300 yen per thirty minutes after that initial hour. The Dear Girls love it when you stay for longer than an hour, but please be mindful of other customers who may be waiting to get a seat. On a regular, not super busy night, I would stay for about two hours. On nights where they have special events, I would try to keep my time there to no more than an hour and a half.

After you have settled in they will then take your order.
Please note that it is required of you to purchase a drink (just as it is required for you to pay for a drink ticket upon entering the Akihabara location).
If you do plan to order both food, a drink, and a souvenir cheki (polaroid picture of/with any of the Dear Girls on staff that day) be sure to check out the set menu options (more details about this in the coming section).
Doing one of these may save you some money.

 


The General Menu

Drinks:
Dear Stage Nagoya offers an array of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, as well as what they call ‘original cocktails’. These cocktails are non-alcoholic and are essentially DS’s member Dear Girl themed drinks. You can either choose a particular color or have the Dear Girl choose for you (Unless your Dear Girl is Lettuce Kagurazaka, then no matter which one you choose, you will always end up with a green kiwi cocktail. haha). Non-alcoholic drink run from about 600 to 800 yen, alcoholic drinks for about 800 to 950 yen (not including the two bottles of champagne they offer for 32,000 and 55,000 yen respectively), and the original member cocktails for 1000 yen.

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Original member cocktail and Dear Meshi (“Mochi Mochi Fried Cheese”)
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Cola and regular highball with Kaarage (gives you an idea of what the side food and alcohol portions are like)

Food:
Dear Stage Nagoya offers an array of your typical cafe and bar-esque foods such as fries, takoyaki, tebasaki, kaarage, etc. They also have a rotating special daily menu called ‘Dear Meshi’. The foods they offer on that really varies! Some days i’ve seen it be something super Western like pizza, other days it has been something super Japanese like yakisoba or rice bowls. The Dear Meshi for that day will be written on a board behind the counter, but I imagine when the Dear Girl takes your order, she will tell you the specials for the day. If none of this strikes your fantasy, have no fear! They have omurice (that of which upon ordering, you can request a Dear Girl of your choice to draw anything you want on the omurice)! And they have desserts like mini parfaits or birthday cake/dessert trays (which also allows you to request a Dear Girl of your choice to draw and write on the dessert plate with chocolate sauce)!
The miscellaneous food items cost anywhere from 700 to 1,000 yen. The Dear Meshi specials cost typically anywhere from 700 to 1,000 yen. The omurice is 1,200 yen. The mini parfaits are 700 yen. I will go over the cost of the birthday special dessert sets when I go over the set menu as these include some little extra goodies!

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Chandelure omurice by Lettuce Kagurazaka
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Omurice portrait of me by Lettuce Kagurazaka

 

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Mini Choco Banana Parfait portrait by Lettuce Kagurazaka

Chekis and Merchandise: 
It wouldn’t be an idol experience without leaving with chekis and merchandise in hand!
For those who do not know what chekis are, they are essentially polaroid pictures of/with any of the Dear Girls. Customers will have the opportunity to get their hands on two different kinds of chekis, ‘pin shots’ and ‘two-shots’.

Pin Shot Chekis~
Pin shot chekis are solo shots of just the Dear Girl. They are typically pre-taken before they opened for the night and feature the Dear Girl in that particular night’s costume theme or uniform, doing various different poses. These are sold every night at DS Nagoya, however on the nights of special events, you will not be able to choose specifically which and whose pin shots you get, rather you draw a random one from a box (cheki kuji).

On a non-event night, to purchase one simply get the attention of one of the Dear Girls and let them know you would like to purchase a pin shot cheki of a Dear Girl of your choice. They mark it down on your paper check and the Dear Girl of your choice will hand you a stack of shots that you are free to look through and choose from. Each cheki costs 500 yen each and there technically isn’t a limit to how many you can buy. You could get one from every Dear Girl on staff that night if you wanted to. Once that particular Dear Girl runs out of chekis, that’s it for the night. So be mindful of other customers and don’t get too greedy. If you are really interested in getting some good chekis, I definitely recommend arriving as close to open time as possible to insure having the first choice of the chekis available that night.

Same goes for the cheki kuji on event nights. Let one of the Dear Girls know you would like to try the cheki kuji and they’ll mark it down on your paper check and bring over the box. Those are limited, so if you want to try your luck, be sure to let them know asap.

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Candysun and Lettuce Kagurazaka pin shot chekis
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Reina Kannagi pin shot cheki
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Dear Stage Special Maid Event random pin shot cheki: Reishi Neojima

Two-Shot Chekis~
Two-shots are a staple of the idol experience. Unlike pin shots, two-shots are shots of both you and the Dear Girl together.

On regular non-event nights, two-shots are only available in two ways only, purchasing the Dear Meshi Set and Birthday Sets (more information on this in the ‘Set Menu’ section), or by redeeming 20 My Dear★Stage points. This is partly what incentives customers to purchase the Dear Meshi/Birthday Set or to buy into the premium paid point program. Most of the time after taking the shot, the Dear Girl will bring over some pens to where you sit and will sign and decorate the two-shot right there with you. It’s a nice opportunity to spend one on one time with your favorite Dear Girl.

On nights where there is an event, two-shot chekis can be purchased for 1,000 yen each. You can choose specifically which Dear Girl to take a cheki with. There technically isn’t a limit to how many you can take, and since they are shot on demand, they technically never run out. Just make sure you watch your time, because most of the time they set a couple of minutes aside every fifteen minutes or so to take chekis and then alternate.

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Two-shot chekis with Lettuce Kagurazaka
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Dear Stage Special Maid Event two-shot chekis (top: Lettuce Kagurazaka, bottom: Yuzuri Matsunaga)

Merchandise~
On a regular night, the typical merchandise available for purchase is tickets to upcoming lives, music Sonoca download cards, and recent Dear Stage group singles.

On the night of events they often sell exclusive goods like bromides (photocards), keychains, etc. Check the event details to get an idea of what exclusive goods they’ll sell that night.

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Dear Stage Special Maid Event Lettuce Kagurazaka bromide set

Dear Stage Nagoya Set Menu

As mentioned above, they offer customers the set menu option if you plan to order specific items off the menu. These are the Soft Drink Set, Alcohol Set, Dear Meshi Set, Birthday Plate Set, and Special Birthday Set.

(Please note the set menu prices do not include the seat charge you will pay at the end of your visit. When I calculate the amount of money saved, I will not be calculating in the seat charge.)

Soft Drink Set~
(Dear Meshi Cost + 500 yen)
This set is for those who want a Dear Meshi menu item and a soft drink or tea.
It is the cheapest of the sets and costs whatever the price is of the Dear Meshi menu item you choose + 500 yen. This saves you a whopping total of… 100 yen. Hey, every yen counts!

Alcohol Set~
(Dear Meshi Cost + 700 yen)

This set is where the saving set in. This set is for those who want a Dear Meshi menu item, draft beer/high ball/wine, and a pinshot cheki of the Dear Girl of your choice. Going with this set saves you about 500 yen.

Dear Meshi Set~
(Dear Meshi Cost + 1,800 yen)

The Dear Meshi Set is like the real world version of an in-game ‘secret shop’.
As previously mentioned in the “Chekis and Merchandise” section, purchasing the Dear Meshi Set will allow you to get a two-shot cheki, which normally can not be purchased on a typical night. This set is for those who want a Dear Meshi menu item, original member cocktail, and that prized two-shot cheki! While the savings you get from purchasing this set is only about 200 yen, the real incentive of purchasing it is being able to take an otherwise unavailable two-shot cheki.

Birthday Plate Set~
This set is only available to those who have a birthday coming up within a month of your visit. It is a dessert plate decorated in chocolate sauce by your favorite Dear Girl and comes with an original member cocktail and a group cheki with all Dear Girls on staff that night. This set costs 3,000 yen.

Special Birthday Cake Set~
This set is only available to those who have a birthday coming up within a month of your visit. It must be
 reserved ahead of time, as it is an actual birthday cake.
This set comes with a birthday cake, a two-shot cheki with a dear girl of your choice, and a group cheki with all Dear Girls on staff that night. This set costs 4,500 yen.


The Dear Stage Nagoya Experience

What I love most about the Dear Stage experience is being able talk with my favorite Dear Stage idols without the time constraints of doing it at buppan (merchandise sales after lives).
Not only do you not feel the time constraints, you get to interact in a chill environment without the noise and crowds, over food and drinks.
They have a TV playing various Dear Stage idol group PVs and it’s a great opportunity to not only learn more about Dear Stage groups, but to also bond with the Dear Girls and fellow fans over a shared interest.

On top of the interactions you get to experience with the Dear Girls, you also get to watch them sing and dance right there in front of you. Especially there closer to closing time. Dear Stage Nagoya is small and unlike the Akihabara location, it does not have a stage there in the same area. Instead they have this area in front of a mini mural next to the register where the girls will take turns doing karaoke and MCs. The small size of DS Nagoya works in the favor of fans as it provides us all the opportunity to be a part of the performance. Sing along, clap, mix, and just have fun (sorry, no wotagei in the cafe)!


When it’s Time to Go

When you are ready to leave, be sure to grab your paper check and head towards the cash register at the entrance. Either a member of staff or one of the Dear Girls will be there to add up your check and give you your total. Only cash is accepted. No credit cards.

For every 1,000 yen you spend, you will be given a code voucher for one point. You can then take those points and add them to your My Dear★Stage account.
When leaving, the Dear Girls will follow you to the exit and see you off.
It’s a really nice way to end your experience there at Dear Stage Nagoya!


Rules and Things to Note

Be respectful and follow the directions of both staff and the Dear Girls.

You are required to purchase a drink. This is common practice at idol events and there are no exceptions here.

Please remain seated as often as possible and keep your belongings out of the walkways. It is a small space and the girls are busy working. We don’t need anyone in the area getting injured.

Do not bring in any outside food or drinks.

Be sure to get in all orders before ‘last order’ time.
22:00= Last order for chekis, original cocktails, and food
22:20= Last order for all other drinks

They reserve the right to turn away anyone who is presenting themselves in an unruly manner.

PHOTOGRAPHY OF STAFF, DEAR GIRLS, AND CUSTOMERS IS PROHIBITED!
Taking pictures of your food is okay, of course.

Gifts of all kinds are prohibited. Letters are okay though.
Do not hand them directly to the Dear Girls.
A dedicated letter box is located in the area. Ask staff if you need assistance finding it.
Please note that while letters are okay, do not include anything with it such as money, coupons, and other goods. Everything is checked by staff and will be disposed of if they find something against the rules.

Respect the personal space of the Dear Girls and refrain from making any physical contact with them.

Do not ask for or give any personal information to the Dear Girls. This includes business cards as well.


Dear Stage Nagoya MVPs

Like I said before, depending on the time you are reading this, Dear Stage will have lost and gained new Dear Girls. So this is based off the time I spent there (2018).

 

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(L->R: Yuzuri Matsunga, Chika Narumi, Lettuce Kagurazaka, Candysun) Source: DS Nagoya Official Twitter

 

Shinsekaisen:
Shinsekaisen is a Dear Stage group consisting of four members, Chika, Candysun, Yuzuri, and Lettuce. At the time of DS Nagoya’s opening, these four girls made Nagoya their main home for about a year and would work alongside fellow Dear Girls and DS group, Cocoromoyowo (now disbanded, though a couple of the members remained in DS).
I was already a fan of them and I was super stoked when I learned that they would be staying in the city I lived in for a while.

I am going to step away from the oshi-bias and say that while all of Shinsekaisen are fantastic Dear Girls, Candysun always exceeded my expectations.
She is absolutely the sweetest person i’ve ever met, she is super silly and very fun to talk to.
I imagine most people reading this are not Japanese, so if I had to recommend anyone out of Shinsekaisen to put your attentions to as a foreigner when visiting DS Nagoya (Provided they are working there at the time you go. Might have an easier time catching them at the Akihabara location.), I 100% recommend Canchan. She is really interested in going overseas to perform as an idol too!

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Source: Candysun’s Official Twitter

 

Of course being there when all the other members are, you will get the chance to meet and talk to them all. They’re all super sweet and really goofy. I definitely also recommend you check out their music! They have a unique sound, their lives are a blast, and they have a little more of a mature and cool image.

 

 

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Source: Reishi’s Official Twitter

Reishi Neojima:
I absolutely adore Reishi.
She was one of the original Dear Girls on staff right at their opening.
While she does not belong to a Dear Stage idol group, she is a fantastic Dear Girl.
She is an illustrator/Designer and she is crazy talented. She is a fantastic listener too.
You can tell she puts her all into talking with customers. She has a great knowledge of idols, anime, and illustrating. She shows genuine interest in the conversations she has with customers and is super enjoyable to talk to.

 

 

 

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Source: Mihana’s Official Twitter

Mihana Mochizuki:
She initially stuck out to me as she kinda has a similar look to Dempagumi.inc’s Eitaso (Eimi Naruse). She is the pink member of a new DS Idol Unit called
Nebula Moon”.

She is super sweet and very easy to talk to! 

 


Conclusion

Thank you for taking the time to read this! It’s a long guide but when I do informational guides I try to be as rigorous as possible and cover every single little detail, that way anyone can go and enjoy themselves without having to worry.

Feel free to send a DM to the Yes Tiger! Twitter account or my personal Twitter account if you have any questions at all about Akihabara Dear Stage and Dear Stage Nagoya. I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have!

I know that it can sometimes be stressful to go to a place you’ve never been before, especially when you may not have sufficient language skills, but I hope this guide helps relieve a little bit of worry. Dear Stage Nagoya is such an important place to me and I hope you enjoy your time there too! After visiting, please tweet us your experience there! We would love to know how it went!

Thanks again for reading! Please share this with anyone you know who is interested in visiting either of the Dear Stage locations! Technically this guide is just as useful for those visiting the Akihabara location as it is for those visiting the Nagoya location!

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